Sometimes things just line right up with no special effort. By my reckoning, I’ve been due for one of these episodes for several weeks and I got it yesterday. It started with another trophy. On Tuesday afternoon I went back to the storage room where the 1935 SWC basketball championship trophy (from last Friday’s post) had been kept. This time I came away with a football trophy from the same era, but an odd one:
This was given in celebration of the Owl’s 1934 SWC football championship, but it isn’t the SWC trophy. (I’m not really sure where that is–maybe the R Room in the stadium?) We kind of stood and laughed a little bit because even though this will make a great display piece, it’s actually just a rather elaborate gift to the team from the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society, a Rice sorority. It also appears to have been presented ten years late. My photo isn’t great, but if you enlarge it and zoom in you can kind of see that the plaque on the bottom was engraved to the 1924 team (the “Heismen”–remember John Heisman was the coach then) by the members of EBLS from 1924-25. Strange, but back in the day people used to make a lot of elaborate presentations on the flimsiest of excuses. (Unlike today, of course.) In any event I was very busy and ready to let it go at that.
On Wednesday morning, for totally unrelated reasons I was frantically searching for a picture of an alumna who graduated in 1935. As I went through several scrapbooks, I suddenly started when I saw a photo of the trophy in an old newspaper story:
So the story is kind of sweet. After the Owls got off to a good start in the 1924 season, the girls pooled their money and bought the sterling silver trophy as a gift to the team they were sure would be Rice’s first SWC football champions. They were probably lucky it only took a decade to pan out. I can’t help but wonder where they kept the trophy while they waited.